This Week in Milford

March 23, 2023

“Thanks, Coach Kareem. I’ll Be In Great Shape For The 10K At The Mudlark All-Comers Invitational Next Week.”

Filed under: Gil Thorp — tdrewhardin @ 2:13 pm

I can understand the Celebrity Angle loud and clear. After all, The Flintstones did it, bringing in stars like Tony Curtis (“Stony Curtis”) , Alfred Hitchcock (“Alfred Brickrock”) , and Ann-Margret (“Ann Marg-rock”) . Therefore, I really didn’t flinch when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar dropped in on Mudlarkland, although as I mentioned on the Gil Go Comics site, it’s like Kareem dropping in on Mayberry and teaching Gomer and Floyd the Barber how to break a press.

But okay, I’ll work with it because Kareem has some good ideas and always had some, especially when he did Coach on the reservation. Personally, I thought it was a crock to not give him a chance as an NBA coach when other greats like Dave Cowens, Butch Beard, Wes Unseld, Phil Jackson (we all know about THAT story) , Jerry Sloan, K.C. Jones, Bill Russell, and Magic Johnson have been at the head coaching helm at one time or the other. There’s nothing wrong with coaching on a Native American’s turf, don’t get me wrong, but I always thought Kareem deserved a shot at The Best Basketball on the Planet.

That said, as Hitorque so acutely notices, it’s one thing for Kareem to come in and have a few words to say or maybe run ONE practice. Coach For The Day sort of thing. But I get this sneakin’ suspicion that Kareem may wind up as Coach For The Decade while Gil slips off for another Harvey Wallbanger at Beth’s Bar. True, the team might run Luke’s team off the ledge with the rest of the lemmings but they might in the process run Gil out of Milford if he makes a habit of drinking more on the bar stool with Larry Tate and Darren Stephens than at the gym water fountain.

Time will tell. If the Laker front office didn’t leave any messages to Kareem, I’d worry, Coach Thorp.

At the Glenwood Cruise Across Mud Mountain shipline

“What’s the matter, Fred? You usually play shuffleboard with reckless abandon.”

“My testosterone level has plummeted. The Cruise physician told me that explained why I couldn’t pounce on Wilma when she was sleeping in her bed.”

“Try a Bucket Shake with an extra egg in it. You’ll be hornier than Truck Tyler in the outhouse by the time bedtime rolls around. Shoot, you’ll finally grow more hair on your chest than on your pate.”

“Thanks, Kareem”

“Anytime. Oh, and a few wind sprints and you’ll be a Speed Demon under the sheets.”

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Henry ‘Hank’ Finkel Will Assist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar At Milford Boys Basketball Practices!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Finkel will work with the big men; will also instruct the reserve team to practice removing sweats when number is called in the fourth quarter of garbage time.”

Okay, the artwork in P1 is pretty immaculate so I’ll lay off this time but beware The Blob!!!!! He’s still hungry for victims and Picasso sketches that appear like Little Lulu. Anyway, I’d laugh if all this running to make Hickory tougher and faster came to nought because



“Mudlark Athletic Office.”

“Yeah, Gil? This is Luke here. Hey, we’re going to have to renege on the contract next Friday. The roof caved in and the contractor is booked until the end of the month on a subdivision.”

We can change the venue on this. I’m not proud.

At Coffee Cantina

“So Kareem was dominating in Game 6 of the ‘74 Series. And you shoulda seen that sky hook with 2 seconds left. Nothing but nylo-“

“Uh, Coach, you have a minute?”

“Sure, Luke, whatcha need?”

“A B-52 crashed into our locker room. I mean, I’m desperate. I have to resort to puddles in the parking lot to see my reflection. Any way we can reschedule?”

This doesn’t even have to be in Milford

At the top of the Empire State Building

“Wow, Daddy, is that the Chrysler Tower?”

“It sure is, Keri. And that’s the Hudson River and look!!!!! I think I see the lights to Yankee Stadium!”

“Gil, what is that Cessna plane flying over Times Square?”

“I’m not sure, Mimi. Wait a minute-‘Gil, Francesca left me for Coach Kim-Can we move the game back to April 14th?’.”

On Cruise Across Mudlark Lake shipline one evening

“I am going to get my mojo tonight, Wilma. I’m through playing around.”

“Relax, Fred. You’ll do fine in the loser’s bracket of the horseshoe tournament.”

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Mud Mountain Murphy To Do Three Shows At Milford VFW Lodge!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Signs contract which would include a mini-concert at the raffle ticket drawing.”

I’m really honestly glad Kareem came in to give the Mudlarks a grueling but beneficial workout. Like Norman Dale once said, no team of mine is going to wear out before my opponent does. Well and good.

But I liked what some of the readers pointed out. Stuff like this in all reality needed to be done at the beginning of the season. Next month, Major League Baseball goes full tilt. I remember when Wade Phillips, when he was coaching the Dallas Cowboys, once said he got with Jerry Jones, in a desperate move to save his job, to discuss being on the same page with the players. The gist of the conversation was “Do you understand what we mean when it comes to tackling? Or blocking? Or catching the ball?”

Wade, I hate to break this to you, especially since I am not a Football Man, but isn’t that what Preseason is for? If a guy doesn’t know how to tackle, cut him. Don’t wait until Thanksgiving and post a pop quiz about how to look it in the tuck. Needless to say, Jones canned his ass shortly thereafter.

Just don’t look for Gil to do the same thing with Dr. Pearl

“No, really, Dr. Pearl, we’re going to have Saturday practice so I can remind them how to slide their feet on defense.”

“Fine, Gil. Incidentally, Mr. Jones called again. He wants to know if you’d like the Receivers Coach position. He’ll be in Fort Worth all day at a PTA Supper so you’ll have to call after 6.”

The Road to Hades was paved with good intentions that emerged shortly before Easter.

On the Cruise Across Gil’s Lawn tour lines

“Rocky Mountain Highhhhhhhhhhhh, Colorado-BELCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH-oops, sorry, Folks. That Bar-B-Q Spam really gave me the gas.”

Heard in the audience somewhere

“Now I know why Buck severed the relationship, Wilma. Pass the popcorn, please.”

Late Afternoon Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Kareem To Speak At Milford Moose Lodge Tipoff Luncheon!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“He was quoted during Autograph Hour ‘Better late than never’.”

“Hold on, Coach. I lost my contact. It’s over by the hash mark somewhere.”

“No problem. I need to call Mr. Luhm to mop up the vomit on the floor anyway.”

Well, no, I don’t think that would be the dialogue if the caption balloons were blank but don’t tempt me. P2 is a Pandora’s box of possibilities even if I realize that in the end that Kareem’s intentions are noble.

“Owwwwwweeeee, I threw out my back!!!!!!!!”

“I have some Vick’s Vap-o-Rub in my briefcase.”

Like I said.

“Did your mother run you in the ground in the Power Memorial feeder system?”

“My Man, my mom made the whole family run suicides. It was that or go to bed without any supper.”

Okay, I’ll quit while I’m ahead.

On Glenwood Cruise Without Having To Race To The ATM

“Who left the lid off of the Crest?”

“I’m sorry, Fred. I’ve told Mr. Murphy about this several times. I’ll have a word with him before the Boxcar Willie Country Jam.”

If ya sing “Them Muddy Boots” with relish becuz that’s what ya wear when yuz clock into yore second job, ya might be a redneck.

Is it really necessary to bring in Coal Miner’s Daughter’s step-sister to kibbutz the action with Gil???? And what is all this all accomplishing? Like, where did Emmett go? Doggone, he’s the one who invited Abdul-Jabbar to the practice in the first place. Is he in a luxury suite with Jerry Jones discussing proper taking-a-charge techniques???? Leave it to Thorpiverse to set the wheels in motion then let the damn engine idle the rest of the month. This is a typical pitiful martial arts B-movie late at night on WDIG where Abdul-Jabbar is running them in the ground while the rest of the King Fu crowd is watching. Oh, it’s my turn to run sprints? My bad.

And what’s Gil going to do? Run along with them? Really, I can’t see him and Beth the Bartender running wind sprints until midnight. I remember when Paul Westhead had basketball players in his Speedball system running with parachutes attached to them to get them ready for the season. Okay, that was Loyola Marymount and it made sense. But where in the bar is Beth going to get in shape for Speedball? The parachute might get tangled up with the pool table.

Run them with parachutes until they gotta barf in the water fountain, Kareem. Nice system.

March 22, 2023

Showdown at Big Skyhook

Turns out Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s not a Friend of Gil but a Friend of Emmett. Seriously, we’ve gotta get some more backstory on Tays; specifically, where life took him post-Milford to put him in Kareem’s orbit.

Alchesay is a real high school, and Kareem actually coached there, for a single season in 1998-99. It’s located on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona (not the one outside Milford). His time there inspired him to write a book on the experience and no, I’m not gonna read an entire book for the purposes of commenting on a single strip. What I did glean from the second link above is that, during his tenure at Alchesay, Kareem didn’t try to impose his style of play upon the team but instead “help[ed] them perfect ‘Alchesay ball’…. A lot of run and gun. Apache ball.”

What exactly is Milford ball and how Kareem is gonna perfect it before the next game is beyond me. In his memoir on his season at Alchesay, he revealed that he used his martial arts training to subdue a player who harassed the team’s female manager. That may be what comes in handy next. Since Luke Hernandez became the new sheriff at Valley Tech, he’s raised the stakes with every game against Milford. The (Valley Conference?) finals might just become a game of death.

March 21, 2023

“I Tried Dominique Wilkins But His Number Was Busy.”

Filed under: Gil Thorp — tdrewhardin @ 11:13 am

Don’t get me wrong. I totally respect Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as a player, coach, and person. What you see is what you get out of him. The man is genuine and has always been good for the game of basketball and for the game of Life.

But it is ludicrous to relegate him to the status of Mud Mountain Murphy. Any of you who have been reading Dr. Rex Motionless knows what I’m talking about. They have been fartin’ around for days over whether Wanda at Nick’s Diner (roughly equivalent to The Bucket) will consent to Truck Tyler and his geriatric ways after Wanda dumped ol’ Mud because he cheated his booking agent on a scheduled gig. But like Thorpiverse, anybody who thought Mudman was going to ride off into the sunset in disgrace and he’d go the way of Bobby Howry had been eating one Nick’s Diner Chili Dog w/ Pinto Beans too many.

Gang, I swear, I was going to let it ride but c’mon, as I mentioned on Gil Thorp Go Comics, does anybody REALLY think ol’ Mudman was not going to be on the set list on this cruise ship that Fred and Wilma are currently riding that is evidently destined for Micronesia???? Like, did Rex Murmur have Townes Van Zandt in mind? Honestly????

That’s why, much as I respect Kareem and what he brings to the table, I get the feeling Kareem is going to get piddled around the next few weeks, maybe to surface at Chance Macy’s next Gettysburg Address.

“Oh Fred, I wonder who’s going to be singing karaoke tonight?”

“Well, Wilma, the program says Mud Mountain Murphy was a last-minute cancellation. It says h-KAREEM???? And it says he’s going to sing Styx’s ‘Come Sail Away’. And then Brubeck’s ‘Take Five’.”

Hey, then I get to take an ice cream break!!!!! O joy o joy.

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Dave Brubeck Slated To Appear At Milford Outdoor Amphitheater For His ‘Time Out From Milford’ Tour!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Brubeck and his entourage allegedly will appear once they are released from their contract with Glenwood Cruise Across America ship lines.”

“Thank you for putting us for the night, Dr. Pearl. The vessel should have the radiator fixed by tomorrow evening.”

“No worries, Fred & Wilma. The bathroom is down the hallway to your right.”

Gang, okay, Gil is taking charge for once with that cheap Rural King whistle used for reining the hogs in the pen when the sheep dogs has pinworms and is at the Milford Vet Hospital overnight. But why is one Coach whistling and another Coach is barking out orders, simultaneously to make it worse? Anybody who has umpired baseball games should know what I’m talking about here. Never EVER have two umpires make a call at the same base, even if both of them make the same call. There is nothing more embarrassing than for one ump to call SAFE and the other ump to call OUT at, say, 3rd base. Proper mechanics were not employed AT ALL.

So Gil blows his whistle indicating a water break while Coach Ochoa is full-blown on “action versus zone defense”. First off, I haven’t a clue what she is talking about and it is only showing me that Thorpiverse is just trying to show us it had checked out library books on basketball this week. Okay, “Don Noort’s Fundamental Zone Defense Principles” might be one for the ages but T-verse, you still gotta siddown, your butt is showing. Second, Gil, it doesn’t look like your coaching staff is on the same page. Bringing in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar without Coach Emmett letting you know???? Like what, did he stay over at Coach Shaw’s house and sleep on a cot in the den?

“Oh, don’t worry, Kareem, Coach’ll like you once you get to know him. And oh no, he and his honey ain’t gettin’ a divorce. The Milford Enquirer cross-checkers never do any research. BTW, leave the porch light on when you leave, would ya?”

“Cotton Fitzsimmons Teaches Milford 3rd Graders How To Attack A Zone Defense-with a Forward by Sam Lacey.”


Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Mud Mountain Murphy Backs Out At Last Minute, Complains That Hemorrhoids Are Flaring Up From A Consuming Bucket Buffalo Chickenburger!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Amphitheater official: ‘We will go next man up. The Cowsills Reunion Concert should be good to go.”

At the Thorp residence one evening, Mrs. Kravitz across the street snooping

“Abner!!!!! Abner!!!!!! The Thorps are bringing in some people I’ve never seen before. The man is wearing a Glenwood Bowling League shirt!!!!!”

“Gladys, sit down. So what if the ship blew a gasket? Did you take your blood pressure medicine today?”

P2 is a joke.

“Sorry, I’m late. I had to go over to Milford Greyhound station to pick up a guest. There was a layover in New Thayer and he just got his luggage. He had to go through a security check in Oakwood.”

Okay, we know Mud Mountain Murphy will not go through those double doors to teach the kids to shoot free throws underhanded. Maybe teach to block out but with that derrière he possesses, he could BLOCK OUT the Glenwood freight carrier. Otherwise, I seriously doubt ol’ Mud will barge through to teach how to throw a bounce pass, especially against a zone, then go wandering off to The Bucket to pile up on Bucket Banana Splits.

And if Bozo the Clown is booked at Milford Moose Lodge, we know that he won’t be working with the team on shooting mechanics. But be careful. James Bond was disguised as Bozo in “Octopussy”. He was forced to dress like that to get away from his police who thought he was a loony and were therefore trying to arrest him. They were precluding him from removing a bomb in a circus cannon that his evil enemies had planted to destroy the Free World. So if he tells Gil that he’s a British agent, be aware that a bomb might be stashed in Dr. Pearl’s file cabinet. Anyway, Bozo or Bond will unlikely be stepping through the double doors.

Mr. Rogers? Well, maybe for moral support but I doubt very seriously he’ll be overseeing 3-on-2 fast break drills. You never know, maybe he played on his intramural team but still, he’s probably forgotten more than Gil knows.

Late Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Mud Mountain Murphy Will Not Play At Milford Girls-A-Go Go Club!!!!!!!!! Says He Has Principles To Live By!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“He was also miffed that banana splits and Eggo waffles were not on the menu.”

If ya go on a cruiser and ya brought yore own outhouse cuz ya wuz concerned about the cleanliness standards of the Cruise Across The Game Lands bathrooms, ya might be a redneck.

I can appreciate the players that are positioned in a bit of a haunting perspective. That makes sense. The phantom on the left appears to be facing Coach Tays and Bozo but the phantom on the right appears to have his appendage out of joint. I mean, if you’re going to scare anybody, you better have your ducks in a row when throwing your corpus at your victims. Hard to scare anyone into submission when your elbow is facing your sternum. Remember, your belly button is in FRONT, not strategically ensconced in your coccyx.

On Glenwood Across This Lifeless Story Arc ship lines

“Wow!!!!!!! Kareem Abdul-Jabbar!!!!!!!!! What’s he doing here?”

“Rumor has it that he and Murphy will be dueting on ‘Them Muddy Boots’. Got it from the ticket agent.”

Kareem is here indeed. Kudos for the artwork. It has him down to a Gil. It still really doesn’t explain what in the world he is doing in Mudlarkland. Granted, Coach Tays brought him in but the next question would be “How did he get a hold of him?” We’re talking Milford here. Calling on the tin can from Rockville can pose quite a challenge, especially when you’re talking about communicating with celebrities. Going through another Rockville and then another Rockville and then another Rockville until you maybe, just maybe get a hold of Abdul-Jabbar’s booking agent and what are you going to ask him once the call on the other tin can pushes through?

“Uh, Mr. Abdul-Jabbar? I’m sorry, did I get you up? I didn’t? Neato! I, uh, was, uh, wondering, well, you know, if you don’t have anything planned and if you’re not going to play in the NBA Old-Timers Game and you’re not acting in another movie, would you, uh, since our coach spends a lot of time at Milford Airport Lounge and runs around periodically on his wife, be interested in being a volunteer assistant?”

You gotta ask. Yes, I’ll do it. Or no, I don’t want to be picking up the tab for Gil every time at Happy Hour.

“We’ll return for more ‘Kareem Teaches Kids Life Skills And The Sky Hook’ after these messages. You’re watching WDIG-TV.”

At the Shaw Household at bedtime

“Now, if ya need any more Pabst, I got plenty in the cupboard behind the Domino Sugar. And the air conditioner button is that green button. Don’t worry, I’m caught up on my Milford Gas & Electric bill. Obtaining a payment plan does wonders. Now, good night, y’all.”

Coach Shaw attempts to sneak out the back

“HONNNNEEEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There you areeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m hornyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!! It’s time for you to do your dutttttyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Blobby Blubby, I’m going to get some more blankets out in the garage for Fred & Wilma. I don’t want them to freeze to death.”

“Honey, the blankets are in the laundry room.”

“Funky Tunky Flunky Chunky Campbell’s Chunky Chicken, I meant TO SAY the laundry room. I get them confused sometimes. I just want to make sure that Fred’s chastity belt won’t let loose the bolts. I was going to check in the den and see if my tool box was there. If Fred’s going to show restraint, a Black & Decker power drill will help him when Fred & Wilma sleep in separate beds and intend to stay that way.”

“That explains the chastity belt with your name stenciled on it by your work bench.”

“Mrs. Shaw, the world is full of organelles and protozoa out to ruin my private parts and I ain’t about to walk around with demonic endoplasmic reticulum eating my pubic hair. Did you ever see Fred with The Blob all over his person? When the stork delivered Pebbles & Bam Bam, Wilma had no VD or Gremlins that I know of.”

“Wook, wet’s not wowwy’ bout Wilma and wet’s whip up some Whoopeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Woman, have you ever seen Mud Mountain Murphy have sex???? Shoot, he’d crush ol’ Wanda at Nick’s Diner with his chastity belt that a dinosaur would normally wear. No wonder why she’s dating that old fogey, Truck Tyler. I’m not taking any chances of literally crushing our marriage. Look at Fred. They get along fine in partitioned beds as long he can keep the snoring down. It sounds like ‘Them Muddy Boots’ being played in a fish bowl.”

“At least Wanda is getting more skin contact than I am right now, even if that took a week and a half.”

“Mrs. Shaw, Fred has shown that he can be happy without it and still afford to go across North Dakota to get to the cruise ship. By God, if he can do it and still be happily married while curbing his sexual appetite, I can traverse across Rhode Island to get to my canoe.”

“But is he wearing his chastity belt to hide his sexual inadequacies? Doesn’t that make you wonder?”

“She had me there. It was time to burn my chastity belt and get down to Milford Men’s Clinic to face the problem. They had all kinds of treatment programs and now I am having more fun times in bed than Fred & Wilma send postcards home about their cruise to the Island of Corsica. Come get your own canoe to row and stroke at Milford Men’s Clinic. You’ll be glad you did.”

Gang, I heard Fred can shoot 60% from the FT line at the cruise ship basketball gym. Kareem’s free clinic seems to be paying off.

And God bless you, Gang.

At Milford Nudist Colony

“Mommy, Mud Mountain Murphy said he’s going to be banging Wanda tonight and he won’t have to take off his clothes. How do you bang if you don’t have a shotgun?”

“Uhhhhhhh, oh look, Keri, Mr. Murphy went to go play pickleball. Go finish his Mountain Fudge Sundae.”

March 20, 2023

3 games, 3 wins, 1 blue moon

Filed under: actual action, basketball, hands in the air, Marty Moon, Oakwood, Valley Tech — robmize2013 @ 3:20 pm

On we go with the hoops season, and just like the old days, we fuck around for weeks without a dribble, then stuff it all in at once. How many differences can you spot in 3 strips?

  1. White tshirts under home top in P1, sleeveless in P3. By the way, where are their home white jerseys that everyone else in the country wears? Been a blue moon since I saw em.
  2. P2 and P3 have the word ‘Final’ after the final score. P1 does not.
  3. Both opponents in P1 and P2 wear the same color jerseys.
  4. P1 and P3 list the winning team first as they should. P2 continues the hiccup that has been present in the Barajas era, listing the loser first.
  5. Since when was Oakwood called the Owls?

Then of course we have the obscure reference to the ‘finals’. Finals of what? State? Conference? The Valley? Hey, nice to win every game but in my state the playoffs last 3 weeks and you must win 8 straight to win the state title, and even then there’s 4 classes, so 4 champs. Used to be 2 of course. The state finals last 2 rounds, used to be 3. It was a big deal to go downstate for a school. Regardless of how they finished, it was a fairly successful season to get that far.

Hey isnt Valley Tech the home of you know who? Yep. Another showdown, this time without dumbbells.

And finally, – Marty– a blue moon occurs roughly twice a year by my humble calculations. See above link for more. Its the 2nd full moon in a month. Not that big a deal. So he obviously has been drinking too many of these……

March 19, 2023

But the cast of Friends have..

Filed under: Gil Thorp, Gils kids, Jami Thorp, talking windows — robmize2013 @ 3:26 pm

The scene today is in Gils car on the ride home from the arcade, and father and son are having a talk about things. The car is a good place to have such talks, as there is no escape and people are close enough together that they can discuss topics that otherwise would be awkward in a normal setting. They also dont have to make eye contact, so it lends itself to more intimate thoughts. I remember having many talks with my dad in the car as we rode together to the golf course, my college, the gym, back home after high school, and anywhere else we had to go. After I learned to drive myself, we still had those talks, and it was a nice time to really enjoy each others company. Of course he was the one who taught me how to drive, and many fathers do that job before their kid actually goes to drivers training and gets their license. Its the essential practice time that we all need. So I remember the thrill of driving on a highway for the first time, and my dad was with me for it, in the front seat.

Jami is now old enough to sit in the front, which makes the dynamic easier. When my sister and I were little kids we sat in back and my mom would be in front with dad most of the time, but little kids dont have the thoughts at that age anyway. Sitting up front is like a rite of passage, as its a way of your parents saying, now your almost a man, so we can have more man to man talks.

So Gil is expounding on parenting and how he hasnt always been the best parent. We know that to be true from the past 6 months or so. Im sure some of you who are parents (as I’m not) agree there is no right or wrong way to raise kids, it really depends on the individual child. Their needs and personalities are different; so I think the best way, just speaking from the experience of watching my parents raise me and my sister, is to set some general guidelines for behavior, and within those guidelines, the kids can do whatever they want. Thats how my parents raised us. And they were good role models, but in such a way that neither of us kids felt like we had to be like them. Just be ourselves, and the rest will take care of itself.

So its good that Gil recognizes his shortcomings and wants to improve on them Thats all he can do anyway.

Of course in P3 we have a little drama as a car flies past them; I suppose we’ll get into what that was all about tomorrow.

March 17, 2023

No, call me Moron.

Pretty sad that after a kid misses ONE shot in a Pop-A-Shot game where you normally get a bunch of shots and try to make as many as possible in 30 seconds or so, Gil has to step in and instruct him on proper form. Hey Gil, your 2 feet taller at least, so your perspective on the rim is quite different. Its kinda like me teaching a little kid how to dunk a basketball on a 4 foot rim. Im 6’3. Dont even have to jump for that. And little kids cant hold a ball like that – they need to push the ball with 2 hands or else it wont make it to the basket. Doh.

Then we have P2 where the ball is suddenly smaller then the beach ball drawn yesterday. Great Gil you made ONE shot. The object is to grab the ball again and make MORE shots. One is shit in that game. A line drive style works best in Pop A Shot, as the ball come back faster after it goes through. Gil wants him to shoot moonballs. The way Gildo is shooting, the ball will hit the fuckin ceiling before the net.

P3 – Little Luke thanks Gil the way a kid addresses an adult, but ol Gil wants him to pretend he’s an adult already. As a kid I only called adults by their first name when they were my relatives (Aunt Murial, Uncle Ben). What happened to “Coach Thorp”? You mean to tell me all the kids Thorp coaches call him Coach Thorp and this tike already is on a freakin first name basis with him??

Nobody reading this will argue with P3. Generations come and go, but familiarity rules are timeless.

And Gil just broke them.

March 16, 2023

I’ll Never Break My Dad’s Record At The Pac-Man Machine.

Filed under: Gil Thorp — tdrewhardin @ 10:39 am

As long as we’re going to head off on another tangent AND render this particular tangent a gut-wrenching vignette, I might as well go ridiculous on us.

In 60 years of Gil’s existence, this venue was the last place you’d expect to see him, in large part because, when he was preaching when he did show up for practice, he would preach something only Our Daily Bread could love, i.e., “Do you want to get better and play in the NBA one day or do you want to waste your time and quarters on Donkey Kong? Your choice.” This is akin to Billy Graham preaching against the vices and moral corruption of Sin City, then showing up in Las Vegas at the crap tables. Gambling your life away is okay as long as you do it in moderation.

And explain the ABA basketball that was once the game ball between the Virginia Squires and the Memphis Tams. And shooting with a backpack???? God, no wonder why Luke Lout doesn’t give you the time of day, son. Did you ever see Pedro throw a TD pass using a snow shovel???? For that matter, did you ever see Pedro practicing free throws at Milford Arcade Adventure???? Sure, you’re having trouble putting a little arch in the ball and it’s clanging off the rim, just pop in a few quarters. See if you can’t shoot better than the Mario Brothers.

And be careful with “Gil is nice”. No, I don’t think Gil was ever accused of being an axe-murderer or Heehaw would have long been written out of this script, courtesy of Gil’s psycho side. Heehaw was taking a shower at the Bates Motel when Gil handed her more than a bar of soap. Anyway, let’s not make Gil a sugar daddy. Deadbeat and incompetent, yes, especially when it comes to coaching, but not a sugar daddy. Jami still gets an allowance to blow on his golf lessons like all the other kids.

Gang, honestly, I saw this on a matrix board at some strip joint today

“Need to pay that student loan? Come apply today!!!”

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you have an outstanding balance after you attended Harvard, there’s a pot of gold at the end of the semester.

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Milford Girls-a-Go Go Club Takes Issue With Former Stripper Over Clause In Contract!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Coach Ochoa: ‘Milford Community College was on quarters, not semesters. I was under no obligation to perform two extra weeks since the academic load was shorter.”

What could we do with this particular story arc that would really do any justice?

“My dad is so glued to the mirror that he rarely pays any attention to me. You’re lucky to have a dad who not only gives you quarters to play Frogger but showers you with love and affection and putting tips.”

Boy, that’s a rousing start. Too bad we don’t really have any time unless this overlaps into baseball and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the plan. Then he’s bitching that Luke Lout doesn’t take him to Milford Batting Cages enough. Just jump from one complaint to another, thereby building up a case that his dad is the second coming of Nero. Et tu, Gil?

Oh, it could be like that Charlie Brown Special where Snoopy is unhappy at CB’s home, so he moves in with Peppermint Patty (not to be confused with the one who got shipped out of town by her own mom) and eventually finds out the grass may be greener at Valley Tech but that’s because Luke Lunkhead covered the crabgrass with green Krylon. PP proves to be a worse master than Charlie Brown so Snoopy heads back home, the final straw being a mountain of dishes he has to wash.

Man, couldn’t you see Gil lay down the whip here?

“So you think I’m a nice guy, huh? Well, get down and give me 500 knuckle pushups, 250 tricep dips on the toilet seat, 600 sit-ups leaning up against the dining room wall, then run to China in back before supper. You’re lucky. The Marines made me run to Bhutan and back before chow. You got held up in a traffic jam in Hanoi, that was your problem. You couldn’t go to McDonald’s in boot camp.”

Snoopy, you better go back to Charlie Brown even if Charlie Brown likes to look at his reflection in the pond.

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Dr. Pearl To Kick Off ‘Tuition Financing’ Workshop With Owners Of Milford Girls-A-Go Go Club Being The Keynote Speaker!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“The students need to learn responsibility and get an inside perspective on how the workday world manages its operations.”

If ya go tha video game ta pop tha quarters in tha machine to use tha toy rifle for target practice, ya might be a redneck.

Like what is P2 meant to convey?

“Daddy Dearest never showed me how to shoot free throws here at the arcade. And I was trying to get better at Pac-Man but he was too busy pawing himself in the mirror. I had to do my homework all by myself and when I didn’t do my chores, he locked the trig tables in the basement.”

Baby, we’ve already seen one SNL episode of “Mommie Dearest when Gilda Radnor plays the abused child and Jane Curtin plays Joan Crawford.

“Oh look, another Christmas present. It’s that steak you didn’t finish at Christmas Eve dinner last night.”

I can see Luke and Luke’s Wayward Son

“Oh look, it’s an axe. No go take your Christmas present and go chop down a redwood and do it by the time the relatives get here or you’ll be eating fruit cake au jus again for dinner. We need a Christmas tree pronto because I ain’t using my Visa Gold at Milford Hatchery.”

And at Easter

“Here’s a spade shovel. Your allowance is in one of the Easter eggs. I made sure it’s six feet under and I ain’t telling you where it is. And you hit a line, I’ll take it out of your next allowance when Milford Gas & Electric sends the crew out to fine me.”

With baseball season right around the corner

“Try it on. The possum skin may be tight at first but they always stretch. I couldn’t find any catcher’s mitts but you need to build character anyway. And put some linseed oil on your chest. I’m tired of looking at those pubic ants crawling all over your pecs.”

Joan Crawford has risen from the dead, indeed.

Afternoon Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Valley Tech Education Enrichment Seminar A Huge Success, Looking To Build Upon For Next Year!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“VT Enrichment spokesperson: ‘Students learned they could bypass tuition reimbursement through the military and avoid risk of active combat by exposing their souls and corporeal structures at Milford Girls-a-Go Go Club. Conscientious Objectors Status never worked finer.”

“Oh look, here’s that Bucket Burger you didn’t eat yesterday. Happy Birthday.”

“Mimi, aren’t you being a little harsh? Jami did get a C in algebra. We’ll find a tutor.”

I wouldn’t mind the “One Day Luke’s Other Son Will Make The NBA” success story if he was struggling at some outdoor basketball court that uses a coat hanger for a hoop and shoestrings for the net. I really can’t fathom Horatio Alger going rags to riches at the penny arcade. That’s right, it’s where he learned to keep his elbow at a 90 degree angle to his shooting hand when tossing 15-footers. I mean, get real, Thorpiverse. Like, is Coach Thorp going to have a shooting clinic at Milford Arcade???? When you’re done playing Pac-Man, you can practice aiming for the rim???? Is Gil going to teach the Tron addict how to shoot off the fingertips???? If you see dudes lining up outside the facility, assume it’s not for the new pinball machine that was installed.

Well, there’ll be no more BONKing if the sheriff is in town, that’s for sure.

Late Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Mimi Says NO!!!!!!!!!”

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“My daughter is a big girl. And I don’t have the money for Milford Community College. I understand that Milford Girls-a-Go Go Club has a part-time opening.”

At the Martinez household one night

“Oh here, that basketball with no air I found in the vacant lot behind The Bucket. I hope you have good lips because I’m not giving you an air pump.”

“Can I at least borrow your song flute you played when you were in 4th grade?”

Whoa, hoss. We’re getting down to cases here in P3. Gil ACTUALLY standing up for a guy he almost got into a bar room brawl with several months ago? Gil, you’re out of character.

You’re supposed to say “Why, that lowdown snake. I bet he pulls wings off of flies when he’s not genuflecting before himself in the mirror. I bet he makes his wife broil his steak standing in her birthday suit. He treats you worse than the nurse’s aide at Heehaw’s place. The aide at least pours chocolate syrup on Heehaw’s ice cream at Social Hour. Here, let me teach you how to shoot a free throw so you can grow up big and strong and not have to look at your dad’s ugly goatee ever again. He shaves like he putts.”

“Gee, thanks, Mr. Thorp. My dad made me shoot free throws in a monsoon. He said it built a strong shooting hand.”

“Why, that dirty lowdown raccoon-licking elephant-head rhino butt orangutan goatee’d emu crotch’d piece of vermin who lost Teacher of the Year because he made his students do geometry proofs under a heat lamp, I’ll tear his hind end limb from limb so that people will think they’re looking at a mangled kangaroo in heat. By the way, call me Gil.”

“Sure. Gil, can you put in more quarters? The basketball machine stopped and it’s not pumping anymore Nerfballs.”

Gang, I read about burial insurance, evidently for your loved ones. I don’t have a good feeling about this.

“Did you recently lose somebody dear to you but forgot to send the premium to cover the burial costs? The check was in the mail but they kept your Aunt Bertha in the storage room until the check cleared? These trying times can indeed become more onerous when finances alter the hearse’s path to the cemetery. This is truly not a time to construct a barricade The Path to Glory.

Greetings, this is Doctor Pearl and Milford Funeral Home understands the need for financial easement when dealing with your loved ones when they ascend the Stairway to Heaven. That’s why their Burial Insurance So That Only Your Uncle George Gets Buried has proven a true financial boon for those sending off their beloved to the Elysian Fields.

Milford Funeral Home has structured several payment plans that will fit any budget for that wage earner in your family. The Self-Serve Plan entails those strapped for financial amenities. There will still be a service but for $6.33/6 months in Burial Insurance premiums, you supply the shovel and you and your family do the digging, plot-marking with the cans of spray paint included. Get peace of mind calmly aware that the family can sing “Shall We Gather at the River” and the male members are heaving Mother Earth for another soul to nestle into her Bed & Breakfast facility. She’ll be serving plenty of pancakes at breakfast, believe you me.

Some of you prefer to add a few pennies to the fire. This is not a problem. For $8.54/6 months under the We’ll Unearth The Power Plan, Milford Funeral Home will send a backhoe driver to your burial plot and you can personally observe your loved one’s entry into Eternity being ripped open for all the world to see. Isn’t it wonderful to see your loved one lowered into the hole and comforted that the backhoe driver is a licensed minister. “Just As I Am” never sounded more mellifluous.

Then there are those of you that received a raise or promotion. For $9.09/6 months under the Your Elevation Lowered Your Loved One With Dignity Plan, Milford Funeral Home will send the backhoe AND someone to move the dirt back into form. There is no reason for the minister to exhort the living to close the book on the Dearly Departed when there’s loose dirt strewn about the seats and you can still see parts of the casket during burial. This Plan will put all the pieces of the puzzle and the dirt back in its proper formation. This Plan truly helps to find closure and move on.

Why let your Dearly Departed be at the mercy of Yogi Bear and Boo Boo? Milford Funeral Home has myriad Burial Insurance Plans guaranteed to satisfy even the most skeptical who worry about where their loved one goes upon the appointed time. Milford Funeral Home does not believe the sheep and the goats shouldn’t be separated when paying your premium. Come find out the wonders of financing of your loved one going 6 feet under with dignity and respect and earthworm-free only at Milford Funeral Home.”

BOOM BABY!!!!!!!!!! Oh, sorry, that wasn’t Reggie Miller. Might have been George McGinnis, he used ABA basketballs. I’m saving face somewhere, God knows I better after commenting on this farce.

God bless you, Gang.

Extra Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Hadley Baxendale Fulfills Contract At Milford Girls-A-Go Go Club!!!!!!!!!!!! Will Pursue Private Practice On April 1st Henceforth!!!!!!!!!”

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“It was worth flashing my sexy body to those drunks to get my final installment of my student loan settled up.”

March 15, 2023

At Least They’re Not Tokens

After yesterday’s detour to pay tribute to Jack Berrill, we’re back to… where, exactly? And when, exactly?

P1: Is this an actual arcade or an arcade museum? It features a Pac-Man machine and runs on quarters rather than tokens. Since when did either exist in Milford or anywhere else in the Valley? Did Gil take the kids there in a time machine? The car parked out front looks a bit dated, but then again this is Milford, where seeing a ’66 GTO on the streets isn’t out of the ordinary. Seems like it exists only to reinforce Gil’s image as reinforcer of (somehwat) old-fashioned values, like…

P2: … carrying cash and change. No falling prey to cryptocurrency scams for old Gil, nosireebob. Besides, while you kids are mashing buttons (unless that narration box in the previous panel is self-referential on Barajas’ part), Gil’s gonna slip outside to buy some vapes from some new dealers in town. He’s never met these dealers but they sent him a text left him a voice mail that they’d look familiar and that they don’t take plastic.

P3: “Thanks, Mr. Thorp.” “Sure thing, kid whose name I don’t know and can’t be bothered to remember.” J/k: this has gotta be little Luke Martinez Jr., who has become one of Jami’s few friends. When Luke Jr. gets home and tells his parents how Gil gave him quarters to play video games, it’s sure to touch off some heated conversation between Luke Sr. and his cardiac surgeon wife about who’s responsible for sending Junior off with everything he needs for a play date, followed by Luke Sr. chaperoning the next play date and renting a mobile video game trailer to park in the driveway (or engaging in some other sort of macho one-upmanship).

The outcome of last Sunday night’s Oscars pretty much guarantees that Everything Everywhere All At Once will become the new normal in visual storytelling, at least for a while. We can thank Barajas for helping us prepare for that, I reckon.

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